Weeds in the Farm Ecosystem

"Corn's a weed in a soybean field. Alfalfa's a weed in a corn field."
David Greer, Union Township

Weeds are any plants that grow where they can take nutrients from a farmer's intended crop. Fast-growing weeds can shade seeds that the farmer has planted and weeds with large roots can absorb more water than crop plants. Weeds can be controlled by cultivation when they are young.
When do you think it is most important to control weeds?

Thistle photo
Young thistles like this are easier to manage than full-grown weeds.
Dandelion photo
Dandelions are a common weed on farms and lawns.
Eco Info
Thistles can grow to be ten feet tall!

Farmers also use a wide range of chemicals called herbicides to kill weeds.

Some "weeds" that grow around farms and gardens are actually good to eat. Dandelions are a food high in vitamins and are used in salads, teas, fritters and wines.

How do you control weeds in your yard?

Photos from Weed Science Association of America
Back to The Farm Ecosytem Nature

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